Breasts have a dull existence in erotic literature, especially among self-publishers. They are big. And round. They look great. Of course, they do. In the English-speaking world, they are mostly “gorgeous,” shall mean magnificent, dreamlike, beautiful.
As a woman, such clichés make me want to vomit. And not out of envy. The images that are formed in people’s minds by such descriptions are out of touch with reality. They fall short. Instead of valuing individuality, appearance is reduced to a certain norm. No wonder girls are running to the plastic surgeon earlier and earlier – if they can afford it.
I still hope that erotic literature can reflect a little bit of reality with its diversity. Are all readers really only happy if the protagonists have a standardized bust size? I think that is unlikely. Just as unlikely as I believe that all people on television only want to see the standardized fare that is served to them there every day.
Over the next few days, I’m going to spend a lot of time thinking about how we can describe breasts and how we paint pictures in erotic texts that offer more than just clichés. Images that stick in the memory. Because this much is clear: A description that offers nothing more than judgmental praise cannot be stored in a reader’s brain. In the best case, such a text calls up existing images. But these are already anchored, be it with movies or, in the best case, with real persons.
It is a rule of thumb in literature: away from the general, towards the specific. The more clearly and unambiguously you describe something, the better you reach the readers. The clearer images are anchored with your text and thus remain in the memory. And I believe that this is the goal of all literature: to remain in memory.
I know the argument with which these evaluative descriptions are sold: Every reader can make up his own mind when he reads about a “great bosom.” Not everyone likes the same shapes. As soon as a breast is clearly described, the evaluation starts in mind. The author can counteract this with general evaluations.
To me, this sounds like a lazy excuse. Describing a bust in a way that makes you want more is work. I’ll describe a few approaches in the next few days. I’ll post links to breast galleries on the web – and think about how we can put what we see into words.
Let’s not kid ourselves: Erotic literature is becoming more and more explicit. At the moment, it can do so without any problems. Censorship regulations are looser than ever. But to describe vividly is a tool of the trade. And that’s something we have to acquire. So let’s get to work.